Thoughts on tooling for joinery

Working on what I hope will be a final and workable version of a module for cutting joinery — in trying to balance the number of tool changes against the simplicity of the code, and interesting option came to mind:

  • require that two V tools be used, one small/narrow so as to create the channel along the edge of the joint, another large enough to cut a V along the edge of the stock in a single toolpath or so.

A Carbide 3D #301 would be able to cut joinery thus in up to 1/4" stock (or possibly a bit more). There are larger tool suited for use in our machines such as:

which I have defined as:

and which would allow cutting in stock up to 3/4" thick (or a bit more) — but it’s rather pricey — list price is $145.60 and one vendor sells it for $131.04:

(there is a 10% off code which may apply this weekend)

Does this seem reasonable to folks?


Pricey, but with double sided replaceable knives so more economical in the long run.

Replacement blade is $21.

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I’ve had the Amana 60* v for two years and I am still on the first insert edge. So it is expensive, but definitely worth it.

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Okay, with a #301 tool, if we make two passes and leave the central channel to the 1/8" tool we can effectively cut up to a 3/8" thickness of stock quite convincingly:

and the upper limit on thickness is well over 1":

while the larger tool extends this to 7/8":

Order has been placed, and we’ll see how it works out once it arrives.

Currently working through the programming at:

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During my latest project, the Time Capsule box this is what I did and the result was pretty good. For the 90deg bit I used the Carbide 3D #301 as you’ve mentioned in your post.

In Fusion 360 I made sketches on the miter cut faces to have multiple lines which represented each pass using the trace toolpath. I ran this after using a 1/4" bit to clear the bulk of the material

I also made 6.35mm slots running across the top and bottom of the board and made the panels that float inside the box frame/walls.

Final result


Yes, with modern adhesives it’s amazing how well a 45 degree miter will hold — that said, I prefer that a joint have self-aligning characteristics — I actually have an idea for a joint which will be perfect (void free, and fully hidden) but while I have been able to make a 3D model of it, I can’t find a CAM tool which will efficiently cut it out — once I finish up the designs I’ve been documenting at:

I am going to finish my math studies so as to master conic sections and work up a tool which will cut them out efficiently.

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After trying this tool out and getting more vibration than I find workable (to be fair to Amana, it is noted as being suited for router tables on the packaging), maybe the smaller RC-1141 would be more workable:

It would allow doing pretty large stock in only one pass to clear the bulk of the material, and a pass at the top to define the joinery, and then the smaller V tool alone could cut the bottom:

Alternately, the central area could be cut with two passes of a #301 (for up to 15.875mm or so thick stock):

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